The Difficult Journey of Delivering Sponsor Letters, and the Joyful Reward When Save the Children geared up for a sponsorship funded program in Sumba, Indonesia, I was really excited to join the team. As a native Sumbanese, I was excited to work to improve the quality of education at the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) centers and Primary Schools in my home country. As a project assistant I have gone to schools in the villages on a regular basis for teacher training activities and for delivering sponsor letters to children. I am proud of the hands-on nature of my work, which allows me to witness the challenges and also joy experienced by children and teachers in the communities.My recent trip to an ECCD center in the Wanukaka sub-district was an eye-opening experience. I was tasked to take letters from sponsors to four children in the area. Our ride by motorbike to get to Wanakuka was quite slow, as we passed through bumpy roads and met flocks of buffalo walking ignorantly, sometimes blocking the road. Although the school was close to the road, the students, walking from nearby villages, had to cross a river to get to the center. It was the rainy season and the water level at the river was chest-high for children, so Eky, one of the sponsored children, and his three classmates could not meet us at the center.
We encircled the river and moved down wet, slippery roads in search of the homes of Eky and the others. Many times I had to get down from the motorbike allowing my colleague to ride through deep slippery mud. It took us more than an hour before we finally found Eky’s house. While sitting down on the bamboo-floored living room, I read the letter to Eky in his local language. Eky’s eyes lit up as he listened to me, smiling shyly, eager to see the letter himself despite being unable to read. Eky’s joy, sincerity, and eagerness was so inspiring. The children’s enthusiasm for receiving the letters melts away the challenges delivery of them brings.
What do you know about the community where your child lives? Do they have to cross a flowing river with chest-high waters to get to their school? Remember that Save the Children staff in the field work hard every day to access some very remote areas, and we appreciate your patience in the sometimes lengthy delivery process!